An oil and gas drilling advocacy group published an open letter to Google asking the search engine giant to consider “purging or demoting” websites spreading misinformation about hydraulic fracturing.
Google rewrote its search engine algorithm to bury “fake news” websites in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. The industry-funded Texans for Natural Gas wants Google to include anti-fracking websites.
“We believe many of the most prominent anti-fracking websites have content that is misleading, false, or offensive – if not all three,” the group wrote in an open letter to Google published Monday.
“As a result, we urge you to consider purging or demoting these websites from your algorithm, which in turn will encourage a more honest public discussion about hydraulic fracturing, and oil and natural gas development in general,” the group wrote.
Google raters “assess search results — to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls ‘low-quality’ content,” Bloomberg reported in April. Google and Facebook were both heavily criticized for allowing “fake news” to taint the presidential election.